Monday, July 26, 2010
A Report On Rush Holt's "Press Conference" At Greenbriar In Marlboro
By Grace Cangemi
Rush Holt has learned something from his constituents. At this morning’s “press conference,” Holt held tightly to the microphone, even when Rhoda offered to hold it for him.
The “press conference” was held at Greenbriar in Marlboro. The purpose was to talk about the new Financial Reform Bill. Holt is very excited about it. It creates a new Consumer Protection Bureau and will have a hotline. It will have an “education component” and will also target “Wall St. insiders” who “left taxpayers to pick up the pieces when it all went bad.”
While we’re struggling to survive, Holt is proud of hotlines and bureaucracies; and I guess he forgot that we taxpayers didn’t pick up the pieces because we wanted to. Holt voted for the bailout. Is he now saying that bailouts are bad?
The Holt response? “Well, the TARP money has been repaid...well, much of it is being repaid…we just don’t want to have to do it again...ummmm”
After avoiding stating anything that might provide actual quantifiable data and answering no questions directly, Holt introduced Marilyn Askin, former AARP president, to hide behind. Scott Sipprelle, listen carefully: this woman is a political hand grenade and you would be wise to exploit her association with Rush Holt. Telling the audience that the AARP worked tirelessly on health care reform was hardly the way to win them over. Askin foundered around for a few minutes letting the audience know that a high point of this bill is that if Wall Street needs bailing out again, the money won’t come from taxpayers. It will come from a tax of up to $50 billion on financial institutions. God knows that won’t affect your retirement accounts.
When Holt realized that Askin was hurting more than helping, he took back the mic to answer some questions. He seemed woefully unprepared. The obvious question about this bill is why were Fannie and Freddie excluded?
Holt’s non-answer started out with the usual nonsense. Fannie and Freddie didn’t do sub-prime loans until 2005, so Bush is to blame. Of course, Barney Frank’s name never came up.
Holt says that Fannie and Freddie need some reform but they didn’t originate the bad loans and so they aren’t the principle offenders in misleading consumers. This is supposed to be about financial reform, but the two agencies most in need of some real oversight were deliberately left out of the legislation and the best Holt can offer is that other folks were worse? Absurd.
When asked if Elizabeth Warren would be named the first head of the new Consumer Protection Agency, Holt said that Warren had worked very hard for the little guy and would be an excellent choice.
“Some people call her liberal, but her point of view holds up.” Well, if Ms. Warren’s liberal philosophy is up to Holt’s standards, then I’m pretty comfortable calling her a liberal.
Holt stayed less than an hour, and concluded his remarks by telling the audience that this bill, like all bills, was a product of compromise.
“Compromise,” Holt concluded, “is one of the beauties of our nation.”
I think the beauties of my nation are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps Rush Holt knows more about being compromised than I do.